Hotel Refuses Family's Reservations Because of Epileptic Son's Service Dog

Golden retriever Chip is covered by the American Disabilities Act

A family had their reservation at a Best Western in Baton Rouge, LA cancelled when they told the hotel that their epileptic son's service dog would be joining them.

Thirteen-year-old Beau Vaughan has a rare form of epilepsy called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, which requires him to be accompanied by his golden retriever, Chip, who is trained to alert his family when Beau has a seizure. Chip goes everywhere with Beau, including restaurants and family trips; Beau's mother, Karen, typically tells hotels in advance that a service animal will be joining them, even though she's not legally required to do so.

But when she gave Best Western the heads-up, they ended up rescinding her family's reservation.

"We got an email saying due to unforeseen circumstances, they will not be able to honor our reservations," she told WAFB. "Working through that they said, oh, you're bringing a pet and Best Western isn't pet friendly."

The American Disabilities Act covers service dogs like Chip, a fact not lost on Vaughan, who is an attorney focused on the rights of children with special needs. Since 2011, businesses are required to allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities wherever the public can go. A hotel employee told WAFB that while she is aware of the law, "workers can't go against what the owner says."

Nevertheless, Best Western's corporate office contacted Vaughan a week later and offered to honor her reservation. But for Vaughan, it was too little, too late.

"I've already booked with another hotel that's understanding and happy to follow the law," she said. "I don't want to go to a hotel where I have to force them to follow the law."

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It is against the law for any establishment to not allow a service dog in there premises. Weather it be a restaurant or a hotel. PERIOD! This is a true fact. I smell a lawsuit coming.

July 15 2014 at 10:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

yes, truly BW is disgusting for doing this to the child with a disability. The dog is there to guard the boy's life condition. If it were me I would have had a 'major" complaint to their head office in Phoenix and FIRE that guy. How could he have looked at that poor child with no compassion. What a rotten heart that hotel owner has.

June 23 2014 at 12:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Susy Jones

I bet that Best Western was owned by immigrants, they are the ignorant ones about our laws.

June 20 2014 at 8:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
little daddy

Please understand this is one hotel in Baton Rouge La, NOT all best western hotels. Best Western is a membership organization made up of individually owned an operated hotels. Holding all BW hotels responsible for one rogue hotel owner's actions is not even close to fair. This hotel doesn't represent the Best western brand. I'm pretty sure the corporate office in Phoenix will deal with that hotel.

June 20 2014 at 8:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to little daddy's comment

Then why did it take a whole week for corporate to contact the childs mother. They didn't do anything till the whole incident went viral. I bet the Best Western name on the hotel is not covered up and anything displaying Best Western in the hotel is probably still there when corporate said it was to be covered up or removed totally...Business as usual I bet.

June 21 2014 at 4:04 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Best Western is far from the best with that dumbass thing they did.

June 20 2014 at 7:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Service dogs are specially trained to be docile. They do not fight. They help their owner for whatever disabiliyies they might have. Contrary to popular belief's. You can't just walk into a facility that train's these dogs and request one. I frequent the VA in my area. There are many service dogs. They are a necessity of life for these people. IT IS THE LAW. Best Western.......Shame on you!!!!!!!!

June 20 2014 at 7:48 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

This dosent surprise me, There are always folks out there with their own agenda or set of rules to go by, Its unfortunate that a family had to go thru that, The only way to stop it is to boycott, Big Deal Headquarters has stripped them and so on, When we the public hit the wallet of those who would be so vulger as to do this.Then thats when things will change for the better and not before

June 20 2014 at 6:09 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Noticeable because of it's absence is the name of the owner of this Best Western Hotel/Motel. Perhaps this is just more media bull---- to be politically correct or not "upset" some certain group. If that were my hotel, you can bet your last dollar, my name would have been in the first 10 words of the story.

June 20 2014 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Service animals and medical marijuana cards any body can get one!

June 20 2014 at 4:32 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to wchild1520's comment

More officious pinheads.

June 20 2014 at 4:10 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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